[Editor’s note: Guest post written by Tony Brown, stock and reader development manager, Islington libraries]
Islington opened its doors to thousands of comics fans over the August Bank Holiday weekend as it hosted the UK’s biggest comics convention. London Super Comic Con, which took place at the Business Design Centre in Angel, hosted over 300 tables of publishers, creators and exhibitors traveling from all over America, Europe and the UK. Free invitations were also offered to Islington secondary school pupils.
This year was the first time the event had been held in Islington, so a good opportunity for us to get involved. It was produced in partnership with Islington Council’s Library and Heritage Service, which released a special booklist of 100 comics and graphic novels to celebrate, chosen by Gosh! Comics. You can download the full booklist here. The cost of producing the book list was shared between Islington Libraries, Islington Arts service, Gosh! Comics and LSCC.
Our priority in getting involved was to promote libraries to an audience who might not associate their local library with comics/graphic novels.
The event included a panel discussion led by comics expert Paul Gravett, and the Libraries Stock and Reader Development Manager talking about the book list and the importance of graphic novels as part of the library offer. The panel event saw lots of questions about graphic novels and seemed to suggest a need for UK promotion of them in libraries and those libraries not stocking them. A few teachers in the audience wanted the book list to take back to discuss with their Head teacher.
Using Twitter to promote the convention, a different comic was tweeted every day using #100comics. Starting 100 days before the convention closed, they had a total reach of over 2 million.
Islington’s Mayor, Cllr Una O’Halloran, who attended the opening day of the convention, said:
“Reading is hugely important, and in Islington we’re committed to encouraging all residents to read more for pleasure as part of our Islington Reads initiative. We’re proud to have been involved in such a big and exciting event.
“As our special booklist shows, Islington’s libraries really do have something for everyone.”
All of the comics and graphic novels featured in the booklist are available at Islington libraries. For more info and to find out what’s on, please visit www.islington.gov.uk/libraries or follow @islingtonlibs on Twitter.
Please note, this is a guest blog. Views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of DCMS or the Libraries Taskforce